Are you letting pain hold you back from getting in amazing shape?
In the western world, it’s common for us to be in pain. Lower back pain, knee pain and shoulder pain being the main culprits.
Pain is awful because it can knock our confidence and stop us from doing what we need to in the gym or in life. It doesn’t have to be that way though.
In my time as a personal trainer i’ve found ways to ensure we get people to their goals, despite this.
Early on in my career, I worked with a man named John. He had just had a hip replacement after falling off a mountain (I know!). He was in his late 50’s and even though the operation went smoothly – he got frustrated as he wanted to go hill walking but all of the information and rehab given to him by the NHS (no hate – i love the NHS) was aimed towards 80 year olds being able to do household tasks. He also wanted to lose weight and get toned.
When I met John, I didn’t know much about hip replacements but after a lengthy consultation and the agreement that we would take it slow, we came up with a plan.
John had imbalances – he hadn’t put weight on his right side for a long time and the muscles were a lot weaker. We addressed this by starting off slowly but working one leg at a time and making sure the legs did equal work. We strengthened the bum and core and then did gentle cardio involving the upper body.
After about 3 months, John’s right leg was just as strong as his leg for the exercises we were doing, and he was aware of what movements he could do safely and which he couldn’t. After 6 months, he was out hillwalking and had lost over 2 stone.
This is an extreme case.
Usually I see lower back and knee pain because people sit down for far too long in the day. Their hip flexors become tight and then because the hips are used to that seated position, we bend over ever so slightly. This causes the lower back to do all the work and weight to be put over the knees.
Then people in the gym try and fix it by strengthening the lower back – making it a lot worse.
Usually a 5-10 minute stretch of the hip flexors and then strengthening the glutes and hamstrings eases this pain. It can take a little bit of time, but it’s worth it!
My job as a coach is to find a way for you to exercise without feeling the pain and if that means not doing certain exercises that’s cool.
But you can definitely get there!